Broward Politics: Latest Tidbits And Pix





Former School Board member Paul Eichner wants to back in elected office.


Paul Eichner

Paul Eichner



Eichner is one of 29 applicants for Judge Stacy Ross’ old position on the county court. She was recently moved up to the circuit court by Gov. Rick Scott.

Scott will pick the replacement after the Judicial Nominating Commission narrows the list. Any new judge could be challenged at the next general election.

A School Board member from 1998 to 2002, Eichner is a 1987 graduate of Nova Southeastern University’s law school.

In 2002, Eichner left his Weston-based District 6 to run for a countywide seat held by fellow School Board member Darla Carter. She beat him.

In 2008, Eichner ran for judge. He lost to Merrilee Ehrlich.

Since 2009, he has been the chief legal counsel for the Broward County Health Department.






All it took was a platter of his wife’s brisket for Steve Geller to get a lot of media play for his gubernatorial candidate of choice – Charlie Crist.

Geller, a former state senator from South Broward and a Crist pal from their Florida State University days, is Charlie’s point person in Broward. He invited the former governor and would-be future governor to dinner on Rosh Hashanah eve.

Crist, who is fashionably-thin, was no fresser.* But he enjoyed the brisket made by wife Laurel Geller. And he left plenty of room for some after-dinner campaigning at the Rosh Hashanah services at Temple Solel in Hollywood.

I tweeted about it. Later, the state’s leading political writers wrote about it.

The dinner got mentioned in the Sarasota Herald Tribune (Lloyd Dunkelberger), Tampa Bay Times (Adam Smith), Miami Herald (Steve Bousquet), and Sun-Sentinel (Tony Man), plus a number of blogs.

Geller loved the comment from Crist that Laurel Geller “cooked an amazingly delicious brisket, which I thoroughly enjoyed,” said Crist,.

Adam Smith wrote that was “high praise from a guy who barely eat.”

Geller is kvelling.**



(*Yiddish for one who eats heavily or without restraint.

**Yiddish for beaming with pride. )




I guess Sheriff Scott Israel has not been taking lessons from Ron Bergeron, the business tycoon who has been known to rassel a gator or two.

Bergeron got the nickname “Alligator Ron” after being badly mauled on the hand by a gator a few years ago. The businessman jumped on an alligator while taking guests on a tour if his 6,000 acre-plus nature preserve near the Big Cypress.

Alligator Ron’s gator didn’t have tape on its mouth…like the one Israel holds here!

This photo, released Monday by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, was taken at Nova Southeastern University’s “A Day For Children.”
Untitled 16


(Photo: Broward Sheriff’s Office)



Mayor Frank Ortis of Pembroke Pines has been around Broward politics for a very long time. Apparently long enough to get a lifetime achievement award from the Florida League of Cities.

Ortis got his award for his work in City Hall. But he has a resume that goes far beyond Pembroke Pines City Hall.

He was a union activist, a major force in South Florida union politics.

Ortis was originally a machinist at Eastern Airlines.

On the front lines of one of South Florida’s biggest union battles of all time, Ortis the president of the Eastern Airlines machinist union when his members were fighting to keep jobs and benefits in the 1980s. There were strikes and cutbacks and layoffs. Eventually, the fight was lost and the airline folded.

Ortis survived.

He became the Broward AFL-CIO president, a powerful position in the 1990s and a key component of Broward’s Democratic political machine. He was the state machinist union president, too.


Unknown Ortis

Frank Ortis


Ortis also dabbled in lobbying. His most notable client was Big Sugar, which was fighting regulation and supported by the machinists.

In 1996, Ortis was elected a Pembroke Pines city commissioner. Since 2002, he has been the mayor.

Last week, Ortis snared the E. Harris Drew Municipal Official Lifetime Achievement Award by the Florida League of Cities.

The annual award recognizes elected officials “whose efforts and commitment have made lasting contributions to the communities they serve,” according to a news release from the city.

“Mayor Ortis is truly deserving of this outstanding recognition,” the release quotes Broward League President and Davie Councilmember Susan Starkey. “He has participated in all levels of our organization to better his community and ours.”

13 Responses to “Broward Politics: Latest Tidbits And Pix”

  1. Harlee says:

    Could you please ask Mrs. Geller if I could have the recipe for her Rosh Hashana brisket? The best compliment I ever got about mine was “Well, it’s chewable.” Thank you very much!

    L’Shanah Tovah!

    Harlee Cohn Mahmet

  2. We Know Him says:

    Ortis tells voters in one precinct he is Latin and in another he is Italian. He is 100 percent out for himself at all times.

  3. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    I think I might cite more positive accomplishments for Frank Ortis than

    Eastern v. unions = out of business with all employees out of work

    Broward’s D political machine: Federal judge says the county is run by lobbyists and FBI stings prove corruption is rampant

    Big Sugar wouldn’t even allow a penny a pound for the Everglades

    Big Sugar is just about finished destroying the Everglades.

  4. Sam The Sham says:

    Frank Ortis almost single handedly destroyed Eastern Airlines and rendered thousands unemployed. The POS killed the goose that laid the Golden Egg and now is applauded.

    Ortis, “whose efforts and commitment have made lasting contributions to the communities they serve,” should slink away in shame.

  5. Know When to Fold Them says:

    Paul Eichner is one of those people who just won’t quit trying to get into elected office. Even if the governor appoints him, which is a big stretch, he’ll never retain his post, since he is un-electable.

    Face it, he is a terrible candidate, he is unlikable. For goodness sake, he couldn’t even beat Darla Carter when she was at her most wackiest.

    Paul, save your wife’s money and don’t bother putting in for judge. You won’t be elected even if you get appointed. How many jobs have you had by now, anyway?

  6. 2010 Facebook page Elect Bob Nichols says:

    Bob Nichols also put in for judge with the JNC. Nichols ran and lost in 2010 against a highly respected incumbent, Judge Carlos Rebollo. Nichols never bothered to take down his 2010 election Facebook site with many questionable comments, including calling the good judge a hypocrit.

    From: Facebook’s Elect Bob Nichols

    Hypocrite defined: An opponent (Judge Rebollo) who claims to shun the Tea Parties even though he appeared at all 3 of their events, shook hands with every member, handed out his flyers, thanked them for inviting him, and gave 3 speeches where he looked them in the eye and ask the Tea Party for their votes. Can someone explain that to me?

  7. 2010 Facebook page Elect Bob Nichols says:

    Amazing how fast that Facebook page Elect Bob Nichols 2010 went down. That page should have been shut down three years ago right after the 2010 election. I suspect Bob Nichols reads

  8. City Activist Robert walsh says:

    Well there Frank Otis what do you have to say for yourself? Frank Lorenzo(Eastern) burns in Hell…..

  9. Alice McGill says:

    Wonder what Walter Duke, mayor of Dania Beach is planning? His favorite commissioner, Bobbie Grace, said at tonight’s commission meeting that someone is leaving the dais soon. Chickie says it won’t be her. She can take the heat and is ready for a good fight. Albert says it won’t be him unless God calls for him. Bobbie says no one knows where she will be in 2014. Maybe it is Walter??? He is having a tough time running the meetings as mayor. If he fits the Peter Principle, he is ready to be “promoted”. Wonder what his plans are?

  10. Non-union says:

    Mayor Ortis fought the union in his own city cause it made sense. Leave the guy alone he Actually CARES ABOUT HIS CITY!!!!

  11. just wondering says:

    Paul was a city attorney or assistant city attorney in Pompano circa 1989-1991
    how many more years does he need for a pension from someplace?

  12. tell the truth says:

    @2010 Facebook page Elect Bob Nichols

    FYI – they all read BrowardBeat

  13. Steve Geller says:


    Please e-mail me at, and I’ll send you the recipe.